Was it Trump's magic wand that turned the Washington Post into a laughingstock?
I'm beginning to think that hidden somewhere in the White House or Trump Tower, there's a magic wand that the president wields which turns his detractors — old Obama hands, make-believe conservative politicians and commentators, Democrats, and the media, into laughingstocks. If so, this weekend, he waved it over the Washington Post.
First, a little background to refresh your memory. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was an ISIS leader. He was a very, very bad man. In 2009, we had him captured and imprisoned in Iraq. For some utterly inexplicable reason, President Obama released him from Camp Bucca. Thereafter, Baghdadi and his troops took over the Iraqi cities of Fallujah, Ramadi, Tikrit, and Mosul and threatened Baghdad.
Along the way, they burned down everything in their path and tortured and murdered civilians, soldiers, and police officers.
Director Blue posted a gruesome photo essay of his butchery.
Baghdadi photographed and publicized how he and his fellow butchers roasted alive men hogtied over flames; burned whole families with their children in cages; drowned prisoners in cages; raped and murdered thousands of Yazidi women and girls; and beheaded, shot, and blew up countless thousands of people.
Among those he kidnapped, tortured, and murdered was a young American woman, Kayla Mueller, whom Obama failed to rescue in time.
After his Iraqi mayhem, Baghdadi took refuge in Syria, where he hid out.
This week, U.S. Special Forces, aided, according to reports, by Turks and Kurds, were granted permission by the Russians to fly over the area held by them. These forces overran his compound and chased him into a dead-end tunnel, where he used his suicide vest to kill himself and three of his children. In the process, our Special Forces gathered up valuable intelligence about the origins of ISIS, its structure and future plans.
You'd think Baghdadi's obituary would acknowledge what a monster he was. The header the Washington Post chose for this was originally "Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Islamic State's 'terrorist-in-chief,' dies at 48."
It was changed to "Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, austere religious scholar at helm of Islamic State dies at 48."
Why they changed it, I can't say, but it appears to downplay the Islamic aspect of the terror and suggest that this butcher was really a thoughtful, religious sort of a fellow.
From his teens, he was fascinated with Islamic history and the intricacies of Islamic law. Acquaintances would remember him as a shy, nearsighted youth who liked soccer but preferred to spend his free time at the local mosque.
"He always had religious or other books attached on the back of his bike," Tariq Hameed, an acquaintance from the same lower-middle-class neighborhood, told a Newsweek interviewer in 2014. The young Ibrahim disdained the Western clothes popular with Samarra's young men, preferring the traditional prayer cap, beard and white dishdasha robe of the religiously devout, neighbors said.
He graduated from the University of Baghdad in 1996 and received a master's degree in Koranic recitation from the Saddam University for Islamic Studies in 1999. Immersing himself in the arcane world of 7th-century religious codes, he grew increasingly conservative. Acquaintances remembered how the college-age Mr. Baghdadi took offense at the sight of men and women dancing in the same room during wedding celebrations.
You had to read to the 40th paragraph for this:
"Later, former hostages would reveal that Mr. Baghdadi also kept a number of personal sex slaves during his years as the Islamic State's leader, including slain American hostage Kayla Mueller and a number of captured Yazidi women. U.S. officials corroborated the accounts," the Post wrote.
In any event, the headline provoked a torrent of satires.
Powerline Blog snapped up some of the best early ones:
Adolf Hitler, Austrian vegan activist and landscape painter, dies at 56https://t.co/szPOVa5Sae— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) October 27, 2019
“John Wayne Gacy, children’s party clown, dead at age 52” https://t.co/W64p94Zixa— Allahpundit (@allahpundit) October 27, 2019
Osama Bin Laden, spiritual leader and architect of lower Manhattan urban revitalization projects, dead at 54. https://t.co/ZfpIrQsbQo— John Noonan (@noonanjo) October 27, 2019
Jeffrey Dahmer, amateur chef with a flair for exotic cuisine, dies at 34. #WaPoObits— Levi Gibian (@LeviGibian) October 27, 2019
The mocking — well deserved — went on all Sunday. See where there are too many wonderful satire headers for me to repeat all.
Kayla Mueller's family was delighted with the outcome even if the Post mourned this austere scholar.
But the magic wand didn't stop at making only the Washington Post look ridiculous. As one Facebook poster (Bryan Dean Wright) observed, there are the 354 House members and 68 senators who voted to condemn the President's Syrian policy. And of course the pundits and former Obama military officers (Mattis, Kelly, and McRaven) belong in the corner with dunce caps, too.
This includes people like former CIA deputy director Michael J. Morell, who said on Face the Nation that he was bothered by the detail in the presidential briefing as it only might inspire more terrorism.
On the other hand I don't remember him criticizing Hillary Clinton who said laughingly of the murder of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi, who was, after all, cooperating with us: "We came, we saw, he died." The Libyan dictator's gruesome death has turned Libya, once fairly stable, into a slave market. Or James Clapper who expressed the fear that Baghdadi's death could galvanize ISIS.
Listening to these people I've come to believe that only God's hand prevented us from total disaster during Obama's eight years in office. Or maybe Trump's magic wand was charged and in operation that early.